Home South Carolina man pleads guilty to 2021 first-degree murder of Big Stone Gap police officer
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South Carolina man pleads guilty to 2021 first-degree murder of Big Stone Gap police officer

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Michael Donivan White, 36, originally of Cross, South Carolina, plead guilty to first-degree murder of Big Stone Gap Police Officer Michael Chandler in Wise County Circuit Court Thursday.

The Office of the Attorney General assisted local prosecutors in securing the conviction.

Around 4 a.m. on November 13, 2021, Chandler responded to a welfare check at a residence in Big Stone Gap. Upon arrival, he encountered a vehicle outside the residence, from which White fired eight rounds and struck Chandler twice. Chandler was airlifted to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later that night.

“I am proud of my office’s role in helping to secure this conviction and ensure that justice was served,” Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said. “This outcome is a testament to the dedication and hard work of those who investigated and prosecuted this case. I want to extend my gratitude to the local prosecutors at the United States Attorney’s Office and the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for their unwavering commitment to justice. Their efforts, alongside state, federal, and local law enforcement, have been crucial in bringing closure to this tragic case and honoring Officer Chandler’s memory.”

Chief Deputy Attorney General Chuck Slemp previously served as the Wise County Commonwealth’s Attorney and was the original prosecutor in the case.

“Officer Chandler gave his life to ensure the safety of others on a dark street in the middle of the night. He is a hero for our entire Commonwealth, and the wounds from this senseless tragedy will never fully heal. We honor his memory and continue his legacy of selfless service. I am grateful that the person responsible for this tragedy has been brought to justice and will face the consequences for the harm he caused,” Slemp said.

White is held without bond and his sentencing hearing is set for August 21, 2024.

Big Stone Gap man arrested, charged in 2021 murder of police officer – Augusta Free Press

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.